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Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Innovative... A small but important step, if not toward peace, then perhaps toward understanding... Developed by a group of Israeli and Palestinian teachers, this text will prove useful not just to the young, but to anyone who quails at the thought of even attempting to unravel the knotty history of the Middle East."
Kirkus Reviews

"The battle lines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict extend to the classroom, where the two sides’ versions of their shared history diverge sharply. Now, two university professors aim to change the way the conflict is taught by exposing Palestinian students to Israeli history lessons and Israeli students to the Palestinian version of history.
USA Today

About the Author

Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME) is a nongovernmental organization established by Palestinian and Israeli researchers with the help of the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. A co-founder with the late Dan Bar-On of PRIME and its current co-director, Sami Adwan has published widely on the role of education in peacebuilding. PRIME co-director Eyal Naveh is a professor of U.S. history at Tel Aviv University and teaches history and history education at the Kibbutzim College of Education.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595586830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595586834
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. A. Murane on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book's simple yet ingenious innovation is a layout common to every English-Hebrew siddur: the right facing page is the Israeli narrative and the left facing page is the Palestinian side, each describing the same events. For example, page 168 is in the middle of the chapter about the 1950s-1960s. The Israeli page features a photo of Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem; the Palestinian page features a photo of a Palestinian refugee woman embracing a relative through a border fence. The Israeli chapter is titled "The State of Israel: The First Decades" and faces "Years of Homelessness and Despair." As one reads about the bombshell effect Eichmann's trial had on Israeli Jewish identity, you can't help but glance at the other page describing the systematic dispossession of Palestinian property under absentee laws.

Those of us versed in both narratives may be quite familiar with the different traumas important to both sides. But to see them so vividly and loyally portrayed side by side reminds me of how important efforts like this remain. For avid consumers of Middle East histories, this is an innovative quick reference guide. And for those entirely new to this issue, I highly recommend any book that is simple, clear and fair to both sides -- for which this approach is uniquely, brilliantly qualified.
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This is a remarkable book. It jot only is a good quick history of Palestine/Israel, but it shows how accounts of the same events vary depending on one's outlook. And, given the high emotions on each side, it is remarkable that the authors were able to work together. For a balanced account of the history of the region it is excellent and there is little else like it to be read.
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A group of teachers, professors and journalists tried to develop a unified narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis for practical teaching purposes. They failed. Instead the created this side-by-side presentation of the Israeli narrative and the Palestinian narrative. They are teaching it, and the book was written with feedback from classroom teachers. Pretty amazing.
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I had to order this book for on honor's seminar on the Palestinian conflict.

At first I was overwhelmed by the stories - a different side of the conflict is told on either side of the book. The left hand is the view point of Israeli, while the right hand is the view point of Palestinians. At first it is slow but the book picks up and if you are very knowledgeable or new to the conflict (as I was) you will like the book as long as you take the time to read it, and are interested in political/social/cultural affair. This book is not meant to be a text book. This book is not meant to be give one simple facts or to make one side look better or worse than the other. This book is meant to show the reader how the conflict may be analyzed by Israeli and Palestinian citizens - side by side. It is meant to give the reader an understanding of how this struggle came to be and how it has evolved over the years and the reason for the strife that exist between the two ethnic groups today.
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This is a wonderful book that literally shows both sides of history at once. It was very interesting to see what was included and what was left out -- on both sides of the story. I would have liked the texts to be more parallel. There were some historical events that were mentioned only on one side of the book. I understand that one of the purposes of this book is to highlight those gaps, but I would like to know what the other side says about those occurrences when they are not omitted.

Overall, a very informative and interesting historical account of Israel and Palestine.
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This book is intended for students, but should be read by everyone, especially all those one-sided screamers and blamers that can be relied on to ruin any semi-sane discussion of the Palestinian issue by jumping in and repeating ad nauseam a few (often questionable) old claims that they think support their particular point view.

Buy one and give it to your public library. It might just educate a few people--if they read both sides--as they are presented here by a team from both sides.
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It is wonderful to hear 2 sides for once. I am so tired of each sides self righteous ranting and when I ask for the other viewpoint am told there is no other correct one but theirs. Be prepared because it is difficult to read. A few pages Israeli and then turn back three pages and read the same time period all over again from the Palestinian or Arab point of view. I loved listening to both and wish the book went further than 2001.
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Extremely well laid out. It is fascinating to read these narratives side by side. I read this during my birthright trip. I felt so much more informed of the issues and people's feelings about them. This deeply enriched my experience and allowed me to have much more meaningful conversations with people on all sides of the spectrum.
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